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St. Mary’s Food Bank tops 100 million-pound distribution mark for first time

(Facebook Photo/St. Mary's Food Bank)

PHOENIX — St. Mary’s Food Bank announced Tuesday it experienced a record-setting level of distribution during fiscal year 2019-20 with more than 100 million pounds of food donated to those in need.

At nearly 107 million total pounds, it was the first time the nonprofit organization surpassed the 100 million pound distribution mark within a fiscal year during its 53-year history, according to a press release.

“We accomplished this feat using every possible tool at our disposal,” St. Mary’s President and CEO Tom Kertis said in the release.

“Pallets of pantry item food boxes plus meats, fruits and vegetables went to our more than 800 agency partners. We also held no-contact drive through mobile pantries – more than 70 a month.”

St. Mary’s Food Bank ramped up its efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic and was able to distribute more than 38 million pounds of food from March through June.

April also marked an all-time record for the largest amount of food distributed by the nonprofit in a single month at 10.1 million pounds.

St. Mary’s also distributed more than 200,000 pounds of food to the Navajo Nation during fiscal year 2019-20, along with coordinated helicopter drops to reach members of the Havasupai Nation at the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park.

“There is no way we could have achieved this Herculean task without the support of the people of Arizona,” Kertis said.

“Those who donate to St. Mary’s, be it financially, through food donations or through their time as volunteers, have allowed us to say ‘yes’ to everyone who has asked for help at our food bank and our more than 800 agency locations.”

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